EDITORIAL: Nemtsov Arrested, Again!

Boris Nemtsov, draped in his country's flag, finds out what his "prime minister" thinks about real patriotism -- Courtesy Reuters

EDITORIAL

Nemtsov Arrested, Again!

Yuri Shevchuk, unplugged, a command performance for Vladimir Putin on Pushkin Square in Moscow -- Courtesy AP

Last time, just weeks ago, former First Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov was arrested for signing an autograph.  This time, his crime was far more serious:  Waving a Russian flag.  World-renown human rights activist Lev Ponomaryov was also arrested.

Nemtsov was arrested by Vladimir Putin’s jack-booted goons once again last week, before he could even set foot at the site of a demonstration in support of the Russian flag.  Yuri Schevhuk, the Russian Bruce Springsteen, was forced to sing at the demonstration without amplification after Putin’s goons blocked his speakers from reaching him.

Despite this neo-Soviet harassment, a stunning crowd of more than 2,000 protesters (some say 3,000 and some say 5,000) gathered on Moscow’s Pushkin Square, right in the heart of the city, and the scene echoed with their shouted demands for Putin’s resignation and Shevchuk’s heartfelt songs of freedom.

Nemtsov’s words also echoed behind him after his arrest:  “It’s just beyond my comprehension. Only authorities who feel themselves to be Stalin’s successors fear their own flag.”

Nemtsov and Ponomarev, minutes before their arrest -- courtesy RIA Novosti

Nemtsov grows bolder as Putin grows weaker.  We have documented failure after humiliating failure by the Putin regime in recent weeks, and now Nemtsov is openly, publicly comparing Putin to Stalin.  In Putin’s eyes, of course, that may well be a compliment. But in the eyes of the civilized world, Putin is increasingly unmasked as the aggressive, bloodthirsty, nasty, wicked little demon that he is.

Barack Obama, craven little coward that he is, continues his silence, though, apparently afraid to lift a finger to speak up for American values in Russia or for those who would risk their lives depending on them.  We are ashamed, truly ashamed, to call him our president.  He should resign.

12 responses to “EDITORIAL: Nemtsov Arrested, Again!

  1. Wow, this OMON got a gold-style HOMO sign. I guess this was the “police reform” I heard of from Dima “the president” so much recently, something like introducing these circus parade uniforms for the army.

    Or maybe it indicates he’s from a special OMON unit to handle VIP dissidents? A Gentle Squad, without much beating and no shooting (and none of looting, raping, burning and murdering).

  2. Arresting a man for displaying his country’s flag in the capital city on the national flag day sounds like the punchline of a bad joke – but it’s exactly what happened to a group of opposition politicians yesterday.

    To mark Aug. 22, the anniversary of the day Russia’s tricolour flew over the White House for the first time in 1991, Boris Nemtsov and supporters wanted to march down Novy Arbat with a giant Russian flag.

    After his arrest Nemtsov told Interfax: “We, like any patriots of Russia, wanted to express our respects to the country and the flag on National Flag day.

    “We decided to carry the flag along the pavements, without interfering with anyone.

    “But the police pounced on us and did not allow us to do it.”

    http://www.mn.ru/politics/20100823/187999007.html

  3. Unplugged protesters defy Moscow authorities
    by Andy Potts at 23/08/2010 11:26

    PUSHKINSKAYA PLOSHCHAD, Moscow, Aug. 22: The police’s door policy was as intimidating – and seemingly arbitrary – as at any Moscow nightclub, with burly uniformed officers ready to pounce at the first whiff of an amp.

    They manned airport-style security scanners at every entrance to the square, and were eager to direct would-be protesters to any other way in, ideally the one from which they had just been turned away.

    Even the protest’s organiser and host Artyom Troitsky found himself confronted by uncooperative police after briefly leaving the square.

    Amid much waving of documents and flourishing of permits he was eventually allowed back, but most of his entourage were herded back into the crowd.

    And pro-Kremlin youth movement Nashi pointedly parked a trio of buses opposite Pushkin’s statue, draped in slogans exerting people who really wanted to help the forest to join them.

    Their spokesman sniffily told Kommersant that none of the activist from the concert had followed that advice: “People who care about the forests went there to clean them up; those who don’t care stand around listening to songs.”

    But Nashi themselves had run into difficulties with their counter-demonstration – state TV news channel Vesti-24 had broadcast footage of their clean-up on Saturday evening, the day before it was due to take place. Youtube users were quick to pounce, claiming an “epic fail for Russia’s propaganda machine”.

    http://www.mn.ru/local/20100823/187998286.html

    • @But Nashi themselves had run into difficulties with their counter-demonstration – state TV news channel Vesti-24 had broadcast footage of their clean-up on Saturday evening, the day before it was due to take place. Youtube users were quick to pounce, claiming an “epic fail for Russia’s propaganda machine”.

      One of the 1999 “Chechen terrorist bombings” (Volgodonsk apartment building) has been announced 3 days before it actually took place. Yet most Russians just shrugged.

  4. In honor of Ukraine’s Independence day, Russians sing the Ukrainian anthem in the Russian language. :)

    Captions in Ukrainian. :)

    Гімн України російською мовою

  5. The Economist:

    Raise no flag

    Today at 09:06
    A MOSCOW court is today expected to consider whether three prominent members of Russia’s political opposition are guilty of “insubordination towards the police.” The absurd case underlines the extent to which freedom of assembly and of expression have been squeezed in today’s Russia, even as President Dmitry Medvedev promises greater political competition. Read the story here.

    Read more: http://www.kyivpost.com/news/russia/detail/79713/#ixzz0xeXk9Do8

  6. Kremlin foe jailed for non-compliance with police
    Yesterday at 22:23 | Associated Press MOSCOW (AP) — An anti-Kremlin political activist is being jailed for three days, allegedly for refusing to obey police orders.

    Read more: http://www.kyivpost.com/news/russia/detail/79864/#ixzz0xjI1sI7w

  7. No more OMON Gentle Squad experiment – the order to beat the dissidents “upside the head with a truncheon” just came publicily from the very top:

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/aug/30/putin-belittles-russias-political-opposition/print/

    “What’s good about the contemporary world?” Mr. Putin was quoted as saying. “You can say something around the corner from a public toilet and the whole world will hear because all the television cameras will be there.”

    Russia’s opposition leaders depend on international television exposure because they are blacklisted from Russian television and their protests are rarely aired.

    Mr. Putin predicted that Russian police would keep breaking up opposition protests unless the dissidents obtain official permission to rally — permission they are routinely denied in central Moscow.

    “You will be beaten upside the head with a truncheon. And that’s it,” Mr. Putin declared.

    Opposition leader Boris Nemtsov said the interview showed Mr. Putin to be “dishonest, ignorant and evil.”

    “It’s clear that the call to beat your own people, moreover those who are unarmed and not showing any resistance, is a crime,” Mr. Nemtsov wrote in his blog.

    Opposition groups plan to rally Tuesday evening and predict that police will now be emboldened to use greater force in detaining protesters.

  8. Will the kremlin close central moscow squares 1 week every month? Absurd!

    Kremlin critic, others detained at Moscow protest
    Today at 17:19 | Reuters

    MOSCOW, Aug 31 (Reuters) – Police detained Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov and several other people at a protest in Moscow on Tuesday in defence of the right to free assembly, which activists say is restricted by the Russian government.

    Police dragged opposition politician Nemtsov away after he started handing out copies of a report criticising Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on the edge of a central square closed by authorities last week.

    Dozens of protesters shouted “Russia without Putin!”

    Читайте об этом на русском языке.

    Read more:

    http://www.kyivpost.com/news/russia/detail/80554/#ixzz0yCt0M9Lv

  9. Yanukovych signed a 5 year contract with the KGB when he sold out Ukraine with the BSF deal with putin. Now putin’s KGB goons are in Ukraine also!

    Update: Protesters arrested outside Russian embassy in Kyiv

    Today at 20:16 | Staff reports

    Police in Kyiv on Aug. 31 arrested almost a dozen demonstrators protesting freedom of assembly restrictions outside the Russian embassy.

    The demostrators, organized by Coalition of Participants of the Orange Revolution (COPOR), a non-governmental organization, surrounded the Russian embasy to show support for Russian civil activists, who traditionally gather on Victory Square in Moscow to defend their right to freedom of assembly.

    Article 39 of the Ukrainian Constitution: Citizens shall have the right to assemble peacefully without arms and to hold rallies, meetings, processions, and demonstrations upon notifying executive or local self-government bodies in advance.

    Article 31 of the Russian Constitution: Citizens of the Russian Federation shall have the right to gather peacefully, without weapons, and to hold meetings, rallies, demonstrations, marches and pickets.

    Photographs of police arresting demonstrators are avaialbe here.

    Read more about the arrests in Russian here.

    Read more:

    http://www.kyivpost.com/news/city/detail/80572/20/page/1/#comments#ixzz0yCys4leh

  10. European lawmakers criticize Russian handling of rally

    Associated Press

    Four European Union lawmakers joined a banned opposition rally in central Moscow on Tuesday and criticized Russian police for violently detaining an opposition leader and dozens of other protesters.

    Heidi Hautala, who heads the EU parliament’s subcommittee on human rights, called the detention of former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov at the rally “a violation” of his rights. Nemtsov is now an opposition leader.

    Baton-wielding police officers also violently pushed around her colleague, Dutch lawmaker Thijs Berman.

    Read more: http://www.kyivpost.com/news/russia/detail/80587/20/page/1/#comment-77718#ixzz0yHZfi900

  11. @Heidi Hautala, who heads the EU parliament’s subcommittee on human rights, called the detention of former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov at the rally “a violation” of his rights. (…) “This is an amazing way of dealing with democracy, shocking,” Berman told The Associated Press. (…) The EU lawmakers were visiting Russia to attend a Sept. 1 commemoration ceremony for the 2004 hostage-taking raid on a school in Beslan in which 334 people died — more than half of them children.

    And I guess they will somehow fail to comment about Beslan itself being “a violation” or “amazing way of dealing with democracy, shocking”. Or am I wrong here… maybe ?

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